November 16, 2009
RealEstateRama

American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funds Aid in Construction of Affordable Apartments in Wilson

RALEIGH, NC - November 16, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) — Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery & Investment (OERI) Director Dempsey Benton, Wilson Mayor Bruce Rose and Bob Kucab, Executive Director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for affordable apartments at the Springbrook Apartments construction site in Wilson on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 11:00 a.m. The site is located on Cresent Drive, off Forest Hills Road.

In August, the U.S. Treasury awarded $95 million to North Carolina to jump-start stalled development of 36 affordable apartment projects in 26 counties. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which manages the federal housing tax credit program, will provide the funds to 36 rental developments that were awarded tax credits in 2007 and 2008 and applied for the assistance.

The money – known as “exchange funds” – was authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to allow state housing agencies to receive cash grants replacing a portion of the state’s federal tax credit allocation. The 20-year-old federal housing credit encourages private investments to build privately owned rental housing affordable to lower income families. As the contraction of the market has made traditional investors cautious, housing credit projects across the country have been put on hold.

OERI Director Dempsey Benton said, “The combination of several Recovery Act initiatives, including this one, is resulting in much-needed jobs for a number of communities in North Carolina and in over 2600 long-term affordable housing units across the state.”

“This money has gone to work immediately in communities across the state, creating jobs and affordable housing for North Carolinians,” said Bob Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. “Both are crucial components of our state and national recovery.”

All of the apartments will be affordable to North Carolinians whose incomes are at 60 percent or less of the median. This ranges from $46,140 for a family of four in Raleigh to $29,940 in lower income areas such as Robeson or Vance counties.

Springbrook will be an affordable housing community for families and for persons with disabilities. The project consists of duplexes that are designed to look like single family homes. Six of the units are fully equipped for persons with physical disabilities, including one unit that is also equipped for the visually or hearing impaired. A community building with meeting room and kitchen and laundry facilities is included.

The $5.2 million development was financed with $3.83 million in exchange funds, $825,000 in state tax credits, and a $588,000 loan from the state’s Housing Trust Fund.

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